A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 9 – Scholarship

Hey guys and gals! 

On the last update, I was getting ready to do some good ole outreach. I did run the campaign and it's been somewhat successful but not at all as good as I think it was going to be. Probably my list of prospects wasn't very good. 

This week, I created an scholarship and sent out emails to 700 universities in the UK, Canada and US to see if I can get some .edu links.

There's been a lot of debate about scholarship links not being good anymore and etc, but I'll take my chances

Let's get to this.

Week 8 Summary

    • Scholarship outreach - Check

Time input and Expenses for the week

Not a lot of work got done during this week in all honesty. I've been travelling lately and managed to get just enough time to sit and send emails to unis. So less than 2hours! And because i'm still on a time shortage, i'll be keeping this update short and sweet.

Scholarship: Elements needed

Alright so let's see real quick what is needed to conduct an scholarship outreach campaign to get .edu links

You'll need a mass emailing tool.  You know from previous updates that GMass is my choice.

Then a dedicated email address like scholarship@mynichesite.com or you can do with name@mynichesite.com if you don't want to pay for another GSuite account.

You need to create a dedicated page like yournichesite.com/scholarship and add there all the details about it. (We'll get to this in a minute)

You need a list of universities and their emails (whether they publically accept scholarships or not doesn't matter, they may list them somewhere else)

You need an email template and an image banner to include on the emails as an attachment and that's all.

Put all things together, send emails, get links.

Setting your scholarship the right way

Right so the most obvious thing is that it must look professional. Impeccable grammar (get someone native to edit it if necessary) and well structured so that whenever anyone reads it, it's clear what the requirements, deadline, topics etc etc are.

My advice would be do an essay-submission, merit-based scholarship and pick a topic that's quite complex inside your industry.  

Pick some basic kindergarten stuff and you'll get 70,000 applications that you're not going to read. 

Make it elegible only for college students, no postgraduates (same reasons).

Place a far-off deadline so you have room to send 2nd rounds of emails to some unis and that you don't have to fork the prize too soon.

Ideally, you want to get the links and then the juice that comes with them (and therefore, some ranking improvement and comissions) BEFORE it's time to give the money to the winner. 

Place a disclaimer saying that the scholarship will be declared void if there is no submission with enough quality or originality.

Place a link to your most valuable piece of money content on top of the page and use an exact match anchor text (so you can funnel whatever juice the page gets)

On the essay requirements, do it like the guys from TheHoth and ask candidates to publish the essay online, include 3 links to authoritative sources and also a link to your homepage. One extra link per application sounds good!

Reaching out

Load your spreadsheet with contact info into google drive, hook it up with GMass and you'll be ready to send emails. You'll need a good template that doesn't look like some s**t used for years by every marketer under the sun. Here's what I sent

Dear [Name]

I'm reaching out to you regarding our new scholarship programme.

I believe it would be of great interest for [University name] students. 

Students of [University name] that are currently enrolled in any major in [relevant field] can apply by submitting an essay on the topic of [chosen topic] to scholarship@mynichesite.com before [Deadline]

You can read the full details of this scholarship here (insert link on this line)

The award for the first edition of this programme will be of [$xxxx], which I hope will help cover part of the tuition costs for the student who submits the best essay on [topic of scholarship].  

I had the inmmense luck to recieve two scholarships during my academic years and it is the main reason I want to give back in this way.

I would be very happy if you share the contents of this email with your students.

If you have any questions, just ask away and I'll be happy to give you as much details as you need.

Have a great day!

[Name]

Founder,
mynichesite.com

Set up an automated follow-up email 5 days after the original is sent with a simple "Hi, just making sure you saw this opportunity for your students. Thanks" and set up "open" notifications on GMass too so you can manually follow-up with opens but no answers.

Try and keep record of which universities say yes/no/maybe/piss off on your spreadsheet for future uses

Next Steps

In the following weeks i'll be doing some analisys of the backlink profile of the main keywords I try to rank for and create a map of sorts to know exactly what links I should be building and how, before jumping into more active link building. I'll probably keep researching for KGR keywords and order another content pack from HPD before the end of the year. 

So the next update may take a few weeks, mostly because I don't think I'll have anything worth sharing, just more of the same. 

Once I've done those backlink analysis, built some links and seen some movements, I'll do the next update and I'll let you guys know how it's been working!

But as always, I'll be down in the comments to answer all of your questions 😀

Have a good one!

A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 8 – Outreach

Hey guys and gals! 

I'm back from a bit too short week holidays. I did use that time wisely though, as I used it to do some assesment on the site situation, what the best next route should be etc. 

I also got new articles ready for publishing (HPD's content) and did some good ole research on email outreach so I do it properly. 

Also, I got another sale on the site which is GREAT news and proof that this WILL work If i just keep doing what every single niche site pro recommends: Publish good content and get good links 😀 (How many businesses are this simple? Not many!)

So all in all things are moving forward, and even though they do move slower than I projected initially, i'm progressing nonetheless and I guess that's all that matters.

To get things done, slowly slowly until I reach the my goal. 

Week 7 Summary

    • Email outreach (Infographic and Skyscraper) - Check
    • ​Create Scholarship page - Check
    • Get universities email list - Check

Time input and Expenses for the week

During last week and this week i've probably put ca. 10h of work. Not straight on the site though, as most of it was researching and learning how to conduct a proper outreach campaign. I've learned that, for beginners, the best possible time investment is done studying the next steps, then doing stuff. 

While a hands-on approach is great, it's always better to know where to put one's hands.

I've spent just 4€ getting gsuite for my blog's email address for the outreach part. 

Email outreach: Tools and tips

So if you guys remember well, I paid a guy on Fiverr to collect email addresses of other blogs inside my niche, published an infographic and a high-quality skyscraper post on a "best X ways to do Y" fashion. Now it was time to reach out to those blogs and pitch them my awesome new contents. 

The tool of choice has been GMass (free) which has a limit of 50 emails per day, which isn't a big deal because my list isn't that big. It also allows me to take it easy and see what the results are before going full-on. 

Then there are two choices:

Free and easy but amateur, or cheap, slightly complex but pro. 

I went the Pro approach, which is getting gsuite to work on your website's email address so you can use gmail with your name@yournichesite.com and send mass mails with GMass. There's probably another 100 ways to do this but was the simplest one I found. 

How to setup gsuite and GMass for outreach


So let me show you real quick what the process is so you too can do outreach like a baws.

Gsuite: https://gsuite.google.com/signup/basic/welcome

The proccess is quite straight-forward

Getting started

Setting up the account.

The basic plan costs $5 per month  per user, so if you're doing outreach and don't have any VAs or anything else that would truly justify another user, just get one. You can add more later anyway.

I created an address like "name@mynichesite.com" quite simple and works well for any PR, outreach and other purposes.

Enter your business location in the next step and click next

What? Of course I'm in the French Polynesia Google! you know nothing...

You'll be prompted to give an email address that you check frequently and you'll be asked whether you have an existing website or not. 

Then you'll be asked for your domain details, to create a new email address for it and the name you want to use. Confirm captcha, click on "confirm and create account" and you'll be redirected to the account setup.

If you're only using one address, click on the box below and proceed:

Verifying the address

Then you'll have to verify the ownership of the domain, again quite straight simple and different possibilities so go with whichever seems simpler for you. I took the "upload HTML file" route.

Then you'll have to change the MX records inside your hosting's cPanel (should be simple. I use Siteground and it was very easy)

Verify domain, submit payment details and you're good to go.

Then you'll need to add GMass to your gmail dashboard, upload your spreadsheet with all the emails to google drive (so that you can merge it with GMass and send it to all contacts) and templates.

Good all mighty email templates

Remember when I said that one of the most important things any of us (newbies :D) can do is to keep learning and keep doing research for the next steps in our strategies?

So off I went to find some good email templates to use for my infographic and skyscrapper campaign and I found out this awesome resource from the guys of Human Proof Designs. Like, exactly what I needed LOL.

So, with all these things combined, I sent emails pitching my infographic to half of the list and the skyscraper to the other half. No particular reasoning here, just testing stuff.

MMG: Current State of Affairs

So like I mentioned above, I've had another sale (a whooping $1.88 comission) and ranks are getting better:

Next Steps

In the following two weeks I'll be handling responses to the outreach campaign, hopefully sending guest posts over and getting the scholarship page ready. Once I've got all that I'll get someone on fiverr to get me a list of scholarships and emails like I did with the blogs and pitch them the scholarship using GMass. 

So again, same process just different targets and angle. I'll be doing some more keyword research and adding more KGR articles, as I keep reading on the FB groups about people having great results with them!

Have you ever conducted an outreach campaign? What were your results?

Share them in the comments below and let's talk!

KWFinder Review and Tutorial: Possibly the best keyword tool for beginners?

Today we're going to be reviewing one of the most popular keyword tools in the market: KWFinder.

But not just that. I've included a full step-by-step tutorial explaining how to get the most out of this tool, so that you can squeeze every single $ invested on your keyword research tool!

Let's jump right into it.

Part 1: Overview

Find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty

KWFinder is an easy-to-use keyword research tool bringing perfect keyword ideas.

A clear and appealing value proposition. Easy to use, keyword ideas, low competition long tail keywords galore.

Let's see if they deliver, but first:

Pricing and Plans

KWFinder currently has 3 plans and those are volume-based. Meaning each one has a limit in the amount of keyword lookups or checks you can perform each 24 hours.

Here are the monthly prices at the time of writing:​

The more economic plan they offer comes at $29 per month and allows you to do 100keyword lookups per day, which is enough when you're just starting and looking for one good niche. Then once you've got some traction and you want to scale you'll probably need to move onto the Premium plan which comes at $49.

Prices have experienced a few increases over the last couple of years.

Let's have a look now at their yearly plans:

Pricing becomes so much better if you opt for a yearly plan, with the Premium costing less per month than the Basic on monthly (and you get 5 times as much). I won't even look at the agency plan because well, I doubt you need to research 36,000 keywords per month (those are manual checks, you get a ton of free suggestions on each search so...)

Speaking about suggestions, lets jump into the actual tool and see how it works, the interface, the kind of results that we get and all of its features. All of them.

What KWFinder does and does not

Does: Allow search based on country or language. Not a bad feature.

Does: Give you a s**tton of data around the keyword to work with. So much I'm going to break the following screen into a few sections so that you know what's going on here.

Let's have a look at the left hand side first:

We've got three tabs on top: Suggestions, autocomplete and questions

We'll focus on suggestions first and on the tutorial further below I'll cover the uses of the other two.

We get the search volume for the keyword we've looked "best led tv", its CPC (for adsense) and the PPC competition level in a scale from 0 to 100 being 100 the highest.

Then we're given a "Keyword Difficulty" score.

Like any other tool, that's a numerical result the software spits by combining a series of factors such as DA, PA, TF and other third party metrics and it's innacurate. They all are. But we'll dig into that a bit later.​

The suggestions tab is where KWFinder will show a lot of related keywords around the original one you just looked up. After some filters are applied using the "results filter" button on the top left, we'll get some REALLY useful data here​. I'll teach you how on Part 2: Using the tool like a pro.

Let's look at the right hand side now:

Again we got that KC score big and bold. We'll explain later what each range means according to KWFinder and what the actual results typically are.

We have then a nice trends graph. This will help you spot seasonality, decreasing popularity or a booming market.

Now, it's important that you know that the monthly search volume KWFinder says, is the average of the last 12 months. If a keyword is in full decline (or explosion) and you only look at the average monthly searches you could fall into a trap (or miss a great opportunity) so do look at the trends.

The best part of this tool.

Its Google's SERP results.

It shows you MOZ's Domain Authority, Page Authority, Mozrank, Moztrust nº of external juice-passing links and then a few social shares counts. Then it spits a SEO competitiveness score for each result.

To get a clearer look at what the top 10 looks like, we're going to click on "Analyze SERP" on the bottom and we'll see something like this:

Which gives you a very clean an organized birds eyeview of page 1 results including all the metrics mentionend above.

Now, it's important that you know that KWFinder will treat the featured snippet also know as result 0, the magic spot, the mystery spot, that big badass result that steals all the clicks and the unfair spot as result nº1, so more often than not you'll see the same result twice, once on position 1 and once somewhere else.

In this case, the featured snippet is taken by organic result nº8! and that has an impact on the KC score so watch out...

KWFinder's main flaw

The main problem with this tool is how heavily it relies on MOZ's data, which is known for its inaccuracy.

The thing is, MOZ's spiders only crawl a portion of a site's total links, so their metrics aren't good enough.

Sure thing, it's better than nothing and the KC score you'll see on KWFinder can serve as an initial indicator of a keyword's real competition, but you should still learn how to judge that by yourself manually. (Don't worry we'll have another article covering that very soon!)

Part 2: Using the tool like a pro

So by now you pretty much know what to expect from the tool. Keyword suggestions in a few different formats, search trends, an overview of the top 10 results with and an SEO competition score that you can use as an early indicator. Nice.

But certain details on how you use the tool will help you get more from it than your competitors, so let's have a look at a few things.

Filtering your results for the keywords that matter.​

Remember that "Results filter" button I mentioned earlier? Let's hit it and see what comes up:

To fully optimize the suggestions we get from KWFinder, we're going to use a few filters here.

For the average amazon affiliate site, the backbone of your content are "best xyz" kind of posts. Then, if you're just starting out, we may aswell ignore anything over 35. That's usually competitive enough to be out of reach for a young site.

If you're trying to maximize your earnings by going for higher volume keywords, you can set a specific minimum search volume under which you don't care about the keyword. For the sake of this example, I'll set 200 as a minimum. ​

You can also add negative (excluding) keywords. Suppose you're into the toys market but are now looking for games made for grown ups. You could exclude the word "kids" and its variations.

"Board games? yes please KWFinder, but just the best, and not for kids"
And KWFinder will provide.

Here's an example of how this would look like:​

As you see, I've also set a minimum of 3 words. Two-word keywords, even if they're "best xyz" are typically VERY competitive and VERY broad (meaning, awful conversion rates) Hardly ever worth trying.

We click on search and we get the following suggestions:​

PROTIP: Set your filters while inactive (switch on gray) save, then turn them on (switch on green). Otherwise the tool glitches and only some filters apply.

As you see, now we're getting better suggestions than before. The best part is, we already know the search volume and competition score, so we won't need to waste a manual check (remember we're limited to 100/500 lookups per day) for any of those keywords.

And, we've just got a great suggestion there. Best 32 inch TV. This awesome keyword was before buried on some irrelevant keywords like "oled tv" "samsung tv" and the like.

PROTIP: Sizes are great long tail variations in many many markets. If a product is available on various sizes, check all the possible variations of "best _size_ product"​ or even better, just filter and KWFinder will honor its name and find them for you

Getting long tail variations and questions from our seed keyword

Remember those two other tabs by "suggestions" that we ignored at the beginning?

​The tab "Autocomplete" will give you long tail variations of the seed keyword, but only longer versions of the original. Here's an example:

What I mean by " only longer versions of the original keyword" is that it won't give you keywords like "best 32 inch led tv under 100" but it will give you "best led tv under 100". Hope that isn't confusing.

​And what about filtering, can we filter these too? You bet you can.

If i flick the filter switch back on it would show only the kws that meet my cryteria.

What about the "Questions" tab then?

Let's see:​

Cool, more keywords, but sadly these are typically the weakest ones. I don't think I've ever come across any solid keyword using this tab.

Answerthepublic is far better on this regard and it's a free tool so if you're dissapointed with this functionality of KWFinder, you already know its substitute

Saving keywords

You've probably noticed the two blue buttons on the bottom of the keyword suggestions box. The one at the right is pretty self explainatory. Select which keywords you want to export by ticking the grey boxes on the left and click on Export.

PROTIP: Select "Export with metrics" or you'll only get the list of keywords​

But you can also create personalized lists of keywords inside KWFinder if you're too lazy to be constantly exporting stuff or doing manual copy-paste combos inside a google sheets doc (which, however, it's what I'd recommend you to do as you can organize them in any fashion of your liking AND you won't lose the keywords if you cancel the account)

However, if you do want to use this functionality, it's quite simple:

Select keywords, click add to list, create a new list if it's the first time and you're set. Nice and simple.

Being smarter than the tool

​So, have I mentioned already the one thing I don't like about the tool? Oh yeah, accuracy issues.

But it's a caveat you can somewhat fix by being smarter than the tool and spotting weird results. Here's one, let's see if you find the cat amongst the bears:

Have you spotted it?

Well, it's three "weird" results actually. All three with KC scores on the 20s range.

And why is that? Moz PA is read here as 1. A damn one. But look at the sites, I mean, I doubt ign.com isn't funneling any link juice from the whole site to that page...

Let's do what any keyword meister would do and manually check that:​

Huh? Well, yeah, this is a typical KWFinder problem. It will get the DA or the PA of a given site wrong and slap a 1 in that cell, bringin the whole KC score down with it. Not very frequent though.

What this means is that you can't just trust the KC score. Here's what you should really do:

Stabish base cryteria. Type of keyword (best? vs? how to? up to you), then conduct some searches and look for promising results. Then you want to manually check the ​top 10 results both on the SERPChecker tool and then simply by clicking on the URLs of the results (open in a new tab for speed) you want to check page by page that the data is correct, and manually vet the quality of the actual content, on-page SEO of the competitor etc.

Final Veredict​

All in all, KWFinder has all the functions you need to find a good niche or new keywords for your site and comes at a very affordable price (specially if you go for the yearly plan!).

It is extremely easy and intuitive to use, has a friendly user interface and is still accurate enough to point you in the right direction (given that you'll know how to spot traps following the above point).

It doesn't match the level of functionalities and options of SEMrush, and it's far from being the SEO swiss-knive Ahrefs is, but then it only costs a tiny fraction of the price of those two tools, and its waaaaaay easier to use.

It would be my recommendation for any beginner who's never used a keyword tool before and just wants to get going with some minimal investment in tools. ​

A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 7 – Getting Wiki Links

Hey guys and gals! 

This week's update is about publishing all that content I ordered and a few updates and changes that made my work both easier and harder.

The main change has been the recent release of Thrive Architect (to which I upgraded) and me getting to know how to use the tool while trying to publish a ton of new content

​Then, I went to Wikipedia and smuggled a few links inside a couple articles. I'll let you know below how I did it, and we'll see if I get caught by Wiki's guards...

Week 6 Summary

  • Publish new content - Check
  • Get Wikipedia links - Check
  • Get social signals - Check

Time input and Expenses for the week

During last week and this week I've spent close to 16hours on the site. Quite above the ideal 4h/week I planned but I'm learning quickly that things don't usually stick to plan.

The main reason like I said above, has been the recent release of Thrive Architect. I upgraded immediately to try the tool and I spent the majority of the time just messing around with it, tying to get templates on place for new articles and adjusting to the new interface etc.

This is something I wasn't counting with and I did consider rolling back to Thrive Content Builder just for the sake of simplicity but heck, I like the new tool.​

Besides that, I got some social signals from PBN butler which is a very straight forward process so I don't think it's necessary to cover it here. I paid $14 usd for that​, got delivered in a few days. 

Brief update on pending issues from last episodes:

I finally got both the infographic and the email list back from the freelancers. Good stuff both of them. I'll be on holidays next week so my idea is to sit down one night and do all the email outreach part so that I'll hopefully have an interesting update for you guys with all my email outreach techniques and results! 😀

How I picture my inbox after I tell all this people about my awesome new contents.

One big change: Thrive Architect

This last couple of weeks I've spent a lot of time around Thrive Architect. For those of you who aren't familiar about Thrive or their products, TA is a WordPress  visual editor that allows you to create pages. It's a "What You See Is What You Get" or WYSIWYG editor.

This very post is made with its older brother, Thrive Content Builder.

Overall, I'd say they've come with a massive power tool with which you can personalize every single little aspect of a website. Technically better although it has a few bugs and some people aren't really fond of their interface.

Here's a review from the guys of Authority Hacker that will show you in detail everything this tool does.​

Sneaking into Wikipedia

So besides the dull part of publishing and getting stuff done, I have something really interesting to share with you this week. 

​One of the main ranking factors are trust signals. To the reach of my knowledge, those are the things that legit sites all have to some degree. 

Having incoming links from a well trusted source like Wikipedia (at Google's eyes, if you ask me I'd tell you not to always trust the Wiki) and other authoritative sites is no doubts beneficial. 

(That's why marketers have been paying good money for Huffpost, Forbes and other such publications aswell as running scholarship campaigns)

I've checked with some guys that create wiki pages for you. Several hundred dollars to a grand is their price range. 

But what if I just want one or two links, but I don't want the whole marketing fanfaire of a dedicated business page?

Introducing: Reference Links

These are relatively straightforward to get but you'll need a good enough piece of content that will pass the manual review of Wiki's editors. 

First Step: Find a low-value wiki page

What I first did was to find three candidates for me to edit and add my link. Don't go for big pages, those get a ton of revisions and additions are looked carefully. For instance, if I wanted to add a link to the Bodybuilding Supplements wiki page, It'll probably be off in minutes.

However, if I go to a page like this one, I'll likely find at least two or three short articles about a random diet with that probably no one reads. Those are my targets.

Step 2: Editing

Here's how to edit your target wiki page

Pick "Visual Editor", go to a paragraph where you can add one single line that makes sense to justify the addition of a new source.

Then hit cite (after your text, snapshot is a bit confusing)

Add data as shown below:

Insert, save changes on the top right corner and you're good to go.

Wrapping up

Alright so I hope this episode has been entertaining and hopefully helped you get a few useful bits like the wiki links and accepting the unexpected. 

As always, I'll be around in the comments to chat with you so I'll see you down there!

Siteground Review

Today we're reviewing one of the most popular shared hosting options amongst affiliates and niche site entrepreneurs. This is none other than Siteground, a company that has gained an almost impeccable reputation over the last few years.

We're going to have a look at their services to find out if they truly are that good of a choice for small and medium sized online business, WordPress powered blogs and affiliates.

Overview

Siteground's value proposition:

Web hosting crafted with care
Latest speed technologies
Unique security solutions
Amazing tech support

Definitely a good proposition. We'll discover on this review if Siteground does in fact live up to their claims, but first:

Pricing and Plans

Sitegrounds offers a lot of hosting options, from shared hostings to enterprise-level solutions.

We'll concentrate on this review on the shared hosting as other options are more geared toward big entrerprises and websites with traffic numbers on the millions per month.

SG's shared hosting options will be the options that best suit most niche and small authority websites, so we'll stick to that.

Shared Hosting

What's included

Starting out as cheap as $3.95 per month (if you pay yearly), Siteground's shared hosting plans are built on SSD, come with free SSL "Let's Encrypt" certificate and free CDN. 

To get their in-house developed cache tool SuperCacher, we have to go for the GrowBig or GoGeek. That tool really has a major impact on sitespeed, so it is a very valuable inclusion for their superior plans.

To top it up, they offer 24/7 customer support for all customers and WordPress staging environments, pre-installed Git, WP-CLI for easy command line management options, PCI compliance for e-shops, 1 year Wildcard SSL for free, priority customer support, free backup and restore on their GrowBig and GoGeek plans.

Pros

There's quite a lot to praise for this guys. Let's have a look at a few critial aspects of any good hosting and see how does Siteground rank.

1. Speed & Performance

One of the main factors on your website load speed it's the speed at which the hosting serves the information to the visitor.  As we know, site load speed is also a big factor on SEO, which is typically the main avenue most niche sites go for in terms of obtaining traffic.

Hence, it's clear that we NEED the hosting to be fast. How fast is Siteground?

​One of the key indicators of good server loadspeed it's the time it takes to load the first byte of data once a user hits "search" for a given site.

Here's a sample of the TTFB from one of my sites hosted on Siteground, tested using bytecheck.com

Pretty fast!

Another crytical point is the server location. Yes, the physical distance between where your website is stored and where your a visitor comes from plays a big part on load speed.

Fortunately, Siteground counts with 5 different data centers​ across the globe: Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan and Singapore.

Great North America, Europe and Asia coverage

Meaning you'll most likely be able to pick a datacenter that suits perfectly your website's targeting. For instance, if yours is an Amazon affiliate site focused on US, the Chicago server has great performance even for the furthest locations like California, so there's where you'd want to host your site.

2. Uptime

It doesn't matter if your server is able to deliver your site at ligthspeed if it's always down. 

Siteground counts with an impressive average uptime of 99.98%​, which is above their promise and industry standard of 99.79%.  Imagine if Siteground is confident on their uptime, that they give a full free month worth of hosting for each 1% of downtime over the course of 12 months.  I'm yet to be eligible to any of such credits after being with them for more than 2 years...

3. Customer Support

This is probably the point where Siteground shines the brightest. Their 24/7 support is fast, polite, effective and available in English, Spanish and Italian.

Typicall matters such as installing WordPress, moving from http to https, pointing nameservers or creating an email account for your site are solved with utmost efficiency.

From my experience, if there's anything on the hosting-end of things that I don't know how to do or simply don't want to do myself,  I just open a chat with customer support and ask them for help. It'll get solved within minutes, every time. ​ In fact, they run a satisfaction survey every year and they've never gone under 95%. 

Cons

With Siteground there's plenty of good to talk about, however, there are a couple of points we could say are the weaknesses of this hosting.

Data storage limits​

​One of the few things I'd wish was better with Siteground is their data storage limits, which are fairly low compared with other shared hostings. Sure thing, by the mere nature of a shared hosting (on which several sites share the storage space) it is understandable that they keep the storage low to keep the respond times as fast as they are. 

However, for some media-heavy websites (like viral images or videos sites) this may prove a real issue. Here's what's available on each plan:

  • StartUp: 10GB storage 
  • GrowBig: 20GB storage 
  • GoGeek: 30GB storage

Most niche websites count with a handful images and perhaps a couple of videos per post, so the GrowBig and GoGeek plans will have enough storage for you. 

Resource usage limitations

The way SiteGround has to regulate that people actually stick to what the plans support  is their monthly allowance of "CPU seconds".  What this means is a cap in the amount of resources your site is allowed to use per month. 

This is actually explained in terms of the "suitable monthly visitors" each plan suggests.

But, what makes this a real con?

Well, if you go over your allowance, your site gets a halt and you're notified to either upgrade plan or remain with your site on hold until next month's "CPU seconds" come in.

And because the number is fairly low, for some sites with heavy traffic (like adsense sites) this may be a real problem.​

Wrapping up

Overall I'd rate SiteGround as one of the very best options in terms of speed, security, customer support and value for money from all shared hosting options out there. 

They have a 30-day money back guarantee and don't charge for a migration, so if you're unsatisfied with your site loadspeed or uptime, I can't recommend SiteGround strongly enough. Just give them a try and you won't be dissapointed.​

A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 6 – Working With Freelancers

Hey guys and gals! 

Last week we wrapped up with me trying to figure out where the heck to find a good, knowledgeable writer that wouldn't charge me an eye and a limb for my skyscraper post. 

I've found her. And I'm going to tell you exactly how, and how to avoid possible major mistakes. 

Spoiler: I found her on Facebook. Ever read about people saying on the forums "just go to Facebook groups and you'll find writers"? I did. And it can work but there's more than meets the eye and you should definitely know a few things for this to work.

Also, this is mostly for some high-end pieces. If you're trying to get the bulk of your site done, I still recommend content agencies with pro writers as it will work out miles easier and cheaper.

Additionally, I've also found a guy on Fiverr who's going to get me emails for me to pitch the infographic and the skyscraper.

Let's jump into this!

Week 5 Summary

  • Find a good writer and place order - Check
  • Find good data entry guy and get emails - Check

Time input and Expenses for the week

So this week I've spent a grand total of 5hours total working on the site, spread across the days as I was having multiple conversations with possible writers, scanning through Fiverr profiles looking for a good data mining gig and testing, testing, testing.

I've spent $30 testing (test assignments for writers and some data scraping guys) and $60 on the actual skyscraper post. Then another $50 on a 300 email list spreadsheet.

I'm still to get both assignments back but I'm confident the writer and the data entry VA will do good as I've done a test run of both.

Which is one of the main things we'll talk about today. But first, let's start with actually finding these people.​

Finding a passionate writer through FB groups.

So, if you're in any of the many niche site facebook groups or you read case studies (like this one LOL) you probably have read that some people find their writers going to facebook groups that talk about the topic of their site.

But how they do it? Do they simply post "hey guys this is my site i'm looking for a writer" and they magically have dozens of people willing to write for free?​ Well, not exactly.

You'll have to filter amongst the curious and the ones that just want to waste your time.

And you'll need to know how to make the business proposition appealing to the possible writer!

So, I'm going to share the exact step-by-step proccess I've followed to find my writer using Facebook groups.

1. The Obvious: Join Facebook groups

So like I've mentioned in other episodes, MMG revolves around fitness. I went ahead and joined every big fitness and supplements group there was on FB.

A small sample of all the groups I requested access to

And you may think "but hey dude, some of those are Malaysian and Philippines groups, is that ok?"

Short answer: sure it is. If they speak good English I don't care about where they're from LOL, I'm not a native speaker myself either and I'm sure you can follow along just good 😀

You may even find cheaper writers on foreign groups!

So, join groups: Check​

2. Post looking for a writer.

Now it's time to let the thousands of people on those groups know that you're looking for a writer for your brand new site. Here's how to do it right:

  • Tag one Admin in your post (see example below) so you're upfront with the community and don't look sneaky.
  • Be very concise about what you want.
  • Tell the candidates what they can expect in terms of compensation and frequency.
  • Remain open for a chat both in the comments and MP.
  • Point out the obvious benefit for both parties.
  • Don't feed the troll.

Here's the exact message I posted on 7 different groups (the larger ones I found)

Hi, I hope the admin [admin name] is ok with this:

I’m looking for someone who’s truly knowledgeable on nutrition supplements and fitness overall and wants earn some money writing content on a weekly basis for a website I help manage.

We’d provide with a list of topics (such as how to use [supplement name] effectively, best pre-workout supplements, different kinds of workout routines and their pros/cons etc etc) and some basic guidelines for the writer.

No BS from either side. If you know what you’re talking about when you talk fitness and nutrition (as broscience-free as possible please) , we’ll agree on a topic, a rough lenght, delivery date and $ amount, you’ll get paid (well above market price, beforehand, via paypal), write, deliver and move onto the next article on the list.

We get high quality content to help our readers and you’ll get money to spend on your passion by writing about it. If this sounds good to you, simply reply here or send me a pm

TIA

No bs, no obscure secretive propositions that can only be spoken in private. Scammers do that, don't be one!

I got around 18 responses in 24hours, enough to keep me busy during the next few days.​

3. Filter, filter, filter.

I got a wide variety of responses. From people asking to see the site (just that) to people pretty much pasting a CV of fitness accomplishments and why they'd be SO interested on having an opportunity to write for me (And a few trolls. Remember not to feed them)

I went with the passionate ones of course.

Then, you'll have people who's asking more questions than they're interested on answering. These are the curious, the ones that don't trust you or the ones that think you're trying to scam someone so try to catch you. You'll spot them by their language.

What I did was to give everyone a bit of background. When did the site start, that I've got a few friends helping me with content, that I want someone who's a proper enthusiast on board and I'd ideally be looking for a ghostwriter but could make a writer's profile for them if they really want the credit etc.

You'll find that most people is ok with the ghostwriting thing, but again being upfront here is nice. Then if they react nicely "sounds good man, could I see the site?" or "yeah great, I'd love to write about workouts bro! I don't need no credit, some compensation would be cool but yeah I'm in!"​ then I tell them to go to MMG, have a look, let me know what they think etc.

But if they're like "ok. And how much does this pay? What's the site?" then well, I move onto the next passionate response. 

So, have the most passionate looking ones have a look at the site and have a little chit chat about them, how they got involved into fitness etc to get a vibe of the person.

4. Structuring a good deal for both sides.

After that initial filter, I proposed a more detailed deal:

Pay is $25 per 1,000 words. I’ll hit you with a list of topics and you pick one. We agree on a rough lenght and a delivery date and you get paid (paypal) . If the article ends up being way longer because the topic NEEDED to be covered in more depth, I’ll adjust the payment no worries. If the article ends up several hundred words shorter because it didn’t need as long as you thought, we leave those $ in a pool for the next one, no worries either. 

Now, I know you can get cheaper articles. But I value people's time and knowledge and you should too. You must know where your ceiling is in case someone finds that too low and be ready to negotiate too (It will depend on your niche. I guess if I was talking about robotics $25 per 1,000words could be even offensive)

5. Agreed? Good. Now test.

Alright I know some of you are thinking "Why don't you test before you propose a deal?" 

Well, in my mind, if they don't find the proposition suitable, It doesn't matter how great of a job they do on the test assignment, they won't take the offer. So I'm upfront about the conditions and expectations.

So, how do you test a few writers at the same time? 

What I did was to go back to my list of KGR keywords and find a topic that looked complex enough yet not too hard to answer in a short article.

I gave the same assignment to everybody.

A question type of keyword that I knew could be properly explained in less than 800 words.  I asked them if they thought they could do a good job on that topic and if $20 was a decent amount for this first job. 

You'll see.

Some people will be like "I'll do this one for free man, don't worry let me try it and if you like this first one then you can pay me for this if you want or we move to the other topics" and some will be like "perfect! I can get it done tomorrow :D" and some will try to juggle an extra $. Dump the last ones and try all the others. (He who squeezes you before to know you properly, will only squeeze you more the more confident he's with you)

Pay the man or woman what you've agreed and ask them for a clear deadline. Today? Tomorrow? Monday? and let them freely pick a day.  If they pick a day that's 5 days from now for a 700 word article, move on. If they don't deliver on time, move on. 

And remember. Don't be an ass. The nicer you're with people the more interested they'll be to do business with you. 

6. Reviewing.

Idieally, you should have some knowledge about what your own site is about. I don't (but my partner does) so that you can read an article and distinguish the BS from the fact. Then read a bit more and decide for the one that you enjoyed the most reading.

If you enjoyed reading it, so will your audience, so that's the writer you should go with. 

Agree to a communication medium such as FB chat, trello, email, smoke signals and start giving tasks to the writer. 

Finding someone to collect emails for you.

This is miles easier to be honest. 

Go to Fiverr and search for web scraping/data mining/email extraction:​

Check for anyone who mentions email extraction or lead collection on their profile and has good reviews. Then send them a private message asking if they're able to complete the following task:

  • Search for blogs inside the fitness and supplements space (gym routines, workout, calisthenia, nutrition, equipment, martial arts...add as many related topics as you can, don't expect the guy to find the topics for your, help him)
  • Find and collect: Name of author, contact email.
  • Paste data on a spreadsheet alongside name of the blog and URL

Nine out of ten guys I asked said they could do. Then ask them their rates for 50-100-200 entries. Then from the ones you think are asking for a fair amount (I paid 50€ for 300 entries), ask them if they'd be able to find you two right now as a test. 

Most of them will. Bang, slap a couple of results and ask you if you're happy.  Check them to make sure they are legit and go with the fastest.  I went with the nicest and he's taking it to the very limit of the deadline so go with the fastest hahaha.​

Alright, this has been the progress so far this week, still outsourcing heavily as you see, it works out more expensive than doing it all yourself but in return you move miles faster. Remember, time is the only asset that never grows. Spend it wisely.

What's next?

For the next week I'll probably be publishing the skyscraper post and I'll see if I have time to send some emails.

I may get HPD's article pack back from the writers too so if that happens I'll be busy just with publishing, which may mean I won't have anything interesting to share until the following week. Maybe not, maybe something awesome comes across, or I learn something valuable in the proccess of publishing a ton of content. You never know.

But as always, I'll be around in the comments to chat with you so I'll see you down there!

3

A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 5 – But Not Just Any Content…

Hey everyone, if last week it was all about content, this week is about a very specific type of content...

Link-worthy content.

Also known as "linkable asset" or simply put, a proper piece of content where you cover a topic like no-one in the whole of the internets has done ever before.

Sort of.

While the above statement may have been a bit over the top, the truth is that I've spent 6h exclusively researching the topic for just one single blog post. Because I intend to put something out that's worth linking to

Will my efforts succeed or have I just wasted a full week of work on my site trying to emulate the big players?

Let's figure out:​

Week 4 Summary

  • Research Skyscraper Post - Check
  • Place order - Pending

Time input and Expenses for the week

Like I mentioned above, I've spent a total of 6 hours (more if you count back-of-the-head-while-commuting time) looking for a topic that was interesting enough to create an epic piece of content around it.

Given that the research is actually only 80%  done (I still need to figure out minor details before I have a proper guideline) I haven't placed an order with any writer yet.

Besides, I still need to sort out WHO will write it. The average $15 per 1,000 words product review article writer won't cut it.

The ugly face of content.

I'll be straight forward: It's f**king expensive. Sure, it's the backbone of this business model so obviously if good content was cheap AF there would be virtually no barriers to entry  (I'd say there's more than enough know-how spread across the web at this moment so anyone can learn how to, but investing mentally and financially and doing the work are the real barriers to entry here)

Let's have a look at the option I'm considering:

PBNbutler's Expert Content: $40 per 500words. 80USD (Eight-zero) for 1,000 words.

I've read great reviews about these guys, but when I look at the price a dormant tic I've got on my left eye wakes up and my vision gets blurry.

I mean, best result about the topic I've chosen has around 3,000 words of content.

I'm not spending $240 on a blog post. I'm just not.

SO, dear readers, PLEASE do tell me about any content agency/writer that you know produces good quality content and won't charge me that crazy amount. Thank you.

This said, let's see how and why have I chosen that topic for my skyscraper post.

Finding a good topic for your epic post.

Alright so first things first, click here to open Brian Dean's skyscraper guide so we're all on the same page.

No ahrefs account for me so I'll do it with buzzsumo.

I started by checking the generic name of the product I recommend:​

Great results, 2 image boards, one affiliate site with bought shares and the biggest eCom in this niche.  Let's try again.

Much better results this time. I checked for the problem instead of the product. I'm pretty sure the first one got a few nice juicy links on top of that half million shares.

The problem? Its a super-duper thorough medicine article written by a doctor. And the random thing is way too random to make sense to talk about it on my site.

I do a lot of that random thing (eat X) so I did read the whole post. 0 chances I can beat that. 

Then on the next results are a few lists, which is a great format. The problem though, is that it treats the end state as a problem, while my people who use the product I recommend have the exact opposite problem. I'm not sure I can give it the right twist. 

Let's make another check.

Alright so results looked ok on the surface. Then I checked the actual sites. Pure garbage. Here comes the question then: Is that good, bad?

Good because it's easy for me to do a better job, bad because probably the shares are fake or worse? I honestly don't know.

​This are my actual results in the exact order I started analyzing the topic using buzzsumo. By now you've probably seen how, unless you know really what you're looking for, the buzzsumo results on their own don't prove very useful and can become one of those never-ending rabbit holes.

BUT, after perhaps another 5 checks, I had what I wanted. Nope, it wasn't a clear answer. It was an amalgamation of another​ 5 pages of results exaclty as the ones above.

What people share the most on this space are lists with tricks to "achieve desired state"

So I had a conversation with my business partner to see if he had any insights. He suggested we do a blog post on the best 5 ways to achieve desired state​.

Good vs Best

I love cooking. I'm a half decent amateur cook considering I slaved my arse on professional kitchens during most of my teenage years.. 

Now, if you enjoy yourself around the stoves, you have probably messed up a few dishes​, trying to do something overly-complex.

​Let's say for the sake of arguments (and I'll grab a sandwhich after this section because it's hunger driving my writing right now) that your site is about kitchen appliances. And you decide your skyscraper post is going to be a list of awesome things to do with the kitchen appliance you promote. 

Always remember WHY you do things

You only want the post so that you can email people, tell them to check it 'cuz iz awesome, and they'll link to you. You'll get cool shares. It'll hopefully help your other articles (the ones with affiliate links) rank  better.

Now, would you spend $250 on that post? Well, if it gets you 100 links after 1000 emails, the price per link is ridiculous so sure thing why not.

But what if it gets you... 5 links? Hell, that's already a lot more links per email than some outreach campaigns ever get! And that's $50 per link (not counting research time value, VA outreach cost and whatever else you may need)

I know a lot of PBN sellers who have really good links at that price. (And you have control over the anchor text)

So, what I'm trying to explain here is:

If your BLT sandwhich is good enough and you can't afford a Double Club Sandwich with wild caviar on it, just be happy with what you've got.​

Sometimes the Best choice you can make is to go with Good Enough

Some random quote I read on Instagram                 

So this time I'll take what I consider is a good enough topic "The top 5 things you can do to achieve desired state" and after deciding what those 5 things are with the help of my broscience-free business partner and finding a good writer for the topic, we should have a content piece that is good enough to promote on social channels, pitch via email and maybe even merge with the infographic (still on the oven) so that we keep moving forward.

How many times did you NOT do something thinking you wouldn't be the best? How many opportunities do we miss by thinking only the best will get them?

First month recap and next stages:

Let's do a quick recap of what I got done on MMG during the first weeks.

  • Press Release (well, partially)
  • Social Fortress built with IFTTT integration
  • 20 Local Citations
  • 25 Blog Comments
  • Research keywords and order 20 new articles
  • Get an Infographic (pending publication)
  • Get PBN links (10)
  • Research Skyscraper post

It isn't a lot, but it's definitely progress and things will compound over time. More links, more content, better website. It can only go right. And remember, I'm barely putting 4-5 hours of work per week on the site...

Monthly SEMrush snapshot:

I'll try to add one of these each 4-5 weeks to see how the site is going in terms of ranking for new keywords.

In the next episodes of A True 4HWW:

  • Publish Infographic
  • Publish 20 articles as soon as they're back from Human Proof Designs
  • Order my Skyscraper post as soon as I find a suitable writer
  • Get social signals
  • Collect email addresses and send pitches for the Infographic and Skyscraper

Alright guys and gals, I hope this episode serves you of help when you're doing your next skyscraper post and that you're enjoying this updates!

See you down in the comments 😉 (Don't forget your writer recommendations if you have any!)​

12

A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 4 – All about content

Hey guys and gals, we're back after a one week gap while I was sorting stuff out with my newly joined web biz partner and reading some more about my next planned stages to ensure I'm going the right way.

This week's update is all about content (the content that got posponed last episode) and a few interesting insights I've gained around this topic.

Let's get started.

Weeks 3 Summary

  • Research & Order Infographic - Check
  • Order KGR Articles - Check (20 articles total)
  • Order expired 2.0s - Cancelled

Time input and Expenses for the week

I've put a total of 7 hours of work on the site these 2 weeks, but technically only had week 3 accomplished, which is nicht gut ("not good" for the non-German speakers).

The main issue here has been researching the topic for an infographic. I didn't want to put just a random infographic together, and I fell too far down the rabbit hole of "must be better". This reminded me of art school when I was 8 and my teacher telling me "Best is enemy of good". 

  • Content: $450 (Human Proof, a pack of 24,000 words which will automatically more than double my existing content.)
  • Infographic: $50 (My Graphic Design friend was kind enough to charge me 25% of what he usually would. )

So technically we've just invested $500 on content which is exactly what I originally paid for the site. Now, let's jump into the why.

Investing in content Vs. something else.

As you know, one of the things I wanted to get were some expired 2.0s like Weebly, Tumblr, Blogger etc. They are cheap to get in Fiverr, but it doesn't mean it's cheap to make them the right way so that they stick, pass juice and don't harm your site. 

After some more thorough reading, I discarded the idea of setting up a mini 2.0 PBN because the amount of work needed is similar to setting a real PBN (in terms of adding filler content, legal pages, images logos blahblah), for a substantially lower ranking power.

Too much time.

Alright so I thought, let's go with The Hoth. Then I checked and it's $250 for three 2.0s. Three. $83.33 per 2.0 blog.  

Time and money balance.

I won't lie to you, and I'm sure you'll relate with this, but at this point I got mentally stuck and I couldn't move forward in any direction.

One option seemed too time consuming. The other one seemed too expensive, and I wasn't even sure I should get the 2.0s, but then I publicly said I would but and I've read they help diversify the backlink profile and this and that and before I realized I spent 2 hours thinking in loop. 

Let me tell you. I like this loops:

Roller coaster loops are fun.

And this loop:

Not just any loop...

But there's few things I hate more than mind traps aka idea loops. And my default for those situations is to throw it into the "f**k it bucket" and move on.  And that's what I did. 

​I rather spend that money on actual content inside my site, or buy good PBN links than spending just another minute figuring out 2.0s  when their impact is going to be minuscule in the big picture.

How many people get nowhere with their site because of spending too much time thinking what will work?​

About content, KGR, top level posts and guidelines.

I want to give you more details about the content I've ordered for my site, MMG. It was a mix of 12 KGR keywords (KGR being <0.25) 3 quasi KGR keywords (between 0.25 and 1) and 5 top level posts or "best blahblah" kind of post. 

The few quasi KGR posts I ordered revolve around some keywords that look very profitable. They are the exact niche of the site, talk about expensive products and are on the 200 searches range.

I thought it worth trying and see later what the difference in terms of ease of rank is between those and the other articles that focus keywords with a much lower ratio (real KGRs)

Then the 5 top level are other products. Some fitness apparatuses, other nutrition products.

I want to broaden the site slowly but surely so I went for some extremely low competition keywords with barely a few hundred searches per month, but all I want is to rank for those and get a few sales. This will compound over time.​

Guidelines: Keeping your site consistent.

Another thing that worried me was that, as different writers will be producing content for the site, it would end up looking a bit Frankensteiny, without a clear style or structure. 

It may be my favorite movie, but I don't want visitors looking at my site like Igor does here.

So before I placed the order, I spent a while creating a template that looked similar to the style the site currently has.

It's pretty much as follows:

  • Introduction. Short and sweet.
  • Top 5 blablahs: Includes specific features, the good, the bad, a conclusion and a pros and cons table after which I place the "check price" button.
  • How to use blablah (when appropiate)
  • What to know about blahblahs

Then I specified to use a first person singular voice and to talk like the main audience is males aged 18-30 which I understand is who mainly uses this sort of products I review.

I also added some links to other articles inside MMG so that the writer has internal references to quote.

Hopefully this will help the site look uniform and make the interlinking process easier later on when I'm publishing. 

What's next?

Next week I'll be doing research for a skyscraper post  

Considering the amount of time I've spent researching the topic for an infographic, this may take me well over the 4 hours I want to spend weekly, so I'll keep my projections for next week simple.

Have you ever published a skyscraper blog post? What were your results?

Let me know in the comments below! I'll see you there.

5

A True 4HWW Case Study: Part 3 – Reality Check

Hey guys and gals, this week is an interesting one. Don't read interesting as "cool" but rather as "complex".

It's about plans not going as expected. It's also about finding solutions, eating that frog and reminding that worth-pursuing projects will always test you.

Let's get started.

Week 2 Summary

  • Get Social Signals - Check
  • Get initial PBN links - Check (10 total)
  • Order KGR Articles - Delayed
  • Find 5 more "best" or "review" keywords - Check

Time input and Expenses for the week

I've put a total of 5 hours of work on the site this week, plus possibly 2-3 more hours figuring out a solution for an R&D funding problem. We'll talk about that in a second. Let's see the expenses for the week:

  • Social Signals: $14 (PBNbutler)
  • PBN Links: $200 (Konker, I'm just 60% sure of this purchase. We'll see)
  • R&D problem: probably close to 2,000€

You may be wondering what the F is that problem to be so expensive.

It was a Rain and Drift problem.  It involves rain, a roundabout and my VW Golf hitting the curb with the right rear wheel because I'm stupid. I won't go into details.

So my ride goes to the garage and my finances get messed up. After I pay the bill (hopefully it'll be fixed next week) I'll be left with ca. 100€ in my bank account for the month.

Moral of the story: Even if you trace a fool proof plan, if you're still part of the equation,  it isn't fool proof.

If life thows you s**t, remember to mix it and make a profit. 

In rural areas of some countries, cow s**t is mixed with grass, dried out and used to start fires and other uses.

Dung patties dry on the wall of a coal-fired brick oven. They're rolled into cakes, then stuck on the wall with the smack of a hand, leaving an imprint.

So I mixed my s**t to kickstart my own little bonfire.

I had a talk with a good friend of mine who's into mechanics (because, well, R&D) and he had a look at the car, recommended me a garage, laughed at me for being so dumb, etc.

During the conversation, I mentioned how much it frustrated me because I needed the money to start this little website project of mine​ and he was intrigued, like "Huh? tell me more".

He's obsessed with the gym and is quite knowledgeable about the topic of my site so I was like "Ok, here's the site". He suggested we partner up. He buys half of it, (I explained how much I'd paid for it from HPD and how much I'd spent so far) we fund the next stages 50/50 and cash out as soon as we can sell the site for $10,000 or more. ​

I thought "why not".  We pretty much agree that I'll do stuff as planned (with maybe some gaps) and he'll vet the content. He'll read every article we get and check it's not full of "broscience" (that's a thing apparently).

Here's a question for you. Do you ever talk to your "offline" friends about your websites? Would you consider partnering with one like I've done?​

A PR problem

So the funding problem for the next stages is solved. Great.  Then I get an email from PBNbutler. Media outlets refuse to syndicate the Press Release  because of the topic (a health consumable) I work in Media and I'm actually not surprised.

I guess the site is too small and too focused on that product at this point. They offered a full refund which I accepted.

The Press Release did get out on some news portals and directories (something like 20-30) but it didn't get syndicated. So technically I got 20-30 nofollow PR links for free?

J'accepte.

Spacing things out.

Not this sort of space tho

The PBN links order was placed yesterday. It's a 10 link package from a famous seller on Konker. You won't need me to tell you who, it's right on the front page. 

I decided to put 6 links to the homepage and 4 links on info articles. No specific reasoning besides maybe gathering a bit more authority at the domain level.​ I've read a lot that every time you add links to your site, it boosts the whole DA anyway.

I was meant (according to the plan) to ​order my KGR articles but after going through them, I realized some keywords were actually referring to the same question.

I then read this article from Mr KGR and I thought "ok, so I need more keywords" and decided to find the 5 other keywords first, then group them with the KGR ones and order it all together. Now I have a very nice mix of "best blabla for xyz",  question keywords, and other "best blabla" that are other products (to broaden the site a bit)

​Because that's a $450 article pack that I want to buy (from HPD's), and 50% of that (my part now that I have a partner) is still out of my purchasing power for this month, I'll be placing the order on August 1st when I get my salary.

This way I may even be able to get a little guideline done for the writers so I know that each article on MMG looks similar in format and style to each other. 

Things never seem to go to plan with case studies and online business in general, so I'm a bit frustrated that I'm only a few posts into this and already have some delays.​

Don't worry, I'll get there.​

What's next?

Next week the plan is to get an infographic, some web 2.0s and buy the review articles.

The updated plan is to get an infographic, buy the article pack (KGR and other review+best articles) and I'm not entirely sure about 2.0s.

I've been reading more and apparently web 2.0s require quite some work on setting them up so they look legit to stay indexed. That's a word combination I don't like.

I would go with The Hoth but the $250 maybe are better invested on content?

So, what are your thoughts on this? I'll appreciate your inputs!​

See you down at the comments 😉

1

Semrush Review

Here at nichesiteazon, we’re big fans of Semrush.com. Barely a day guys past when I don’t login to the software to find keyword opportunities, track my site rankings, or reverse engineer a competitor. Additionally, Josh has outlined some great strategies you can use semrush for in previous posts. In this semrush review though, we’re going to focus on the basics, and why this software really does pay for itself. If you’re curious to read the other posts, they’re linked here:

First off, I’d like to just say that when I first looked into semrush, I wasn’t making a lot of money online and the monthly fee seemed unecessarily high. This may also be the case with you, and if you can’t afford the tool, then that’s understandable. You can actually use click the banner below to get a free trial of the tool, which should get your love affair with it started, and you can come back later when you have more of a budget.

SEMrush

For the meantime, let’s dive into this review.

How Does Semrush Work? What Is It?

Semrush calls itself a competitor research tool, and it is, but it actually has a lot more practical applications. You might be thinking “Ok cool, but how do I use competitor research to my advantage? And I’ll explain that in the rest of the article.

For now, here’s a quick overview of how you might use Semrush.

The page above is where everything begins. Enter a competitor’s URL above, and you’ll be presented with a list of keywords they rank for, what position they rank, who their competitors are (so you can rinse and repeat), and a lot of other information as well.

You can figure out what their best performing pages are, whether or not they’re buying traffic from Google, and you’ll also get some insights into their backlink profile.

This is a snapshot of the keywords NicheSiteAzon ranks for.

 

A list of sites we share keywords with. This gives us a chanc e to look at what they rank for that we might not have thought of targeting yet. Gold.

Now, semrush definitely doesn’t have the best backlink checker in the world. Ahrefs and Majestic are superior here.

However, that doesn’t really matter, because what I use Semrush for has nothing to do with checking backlinks, as I’ll explain in the next few sections.

For now, just know that Semrush allows you to find out a lot of insanely useful keyword data about your competitors. You’ll uncover a lot of keywords that don’t show up in other keyword tools, and that alone is gold. 

What a lot of people don’t realize is, Semrush also works great if you put your own site into the tool. You’ll find a bunch of hidden keywords you didn’t know you rank for. You’ll find untapped opportunities, and you’ll get good ideas about which posts to target for on-page and off-page seo improvements.

Thanks to this, the money you spend on Semrush could end up saving you money on link building, so ultimately, you come out ahead.

Practical Uses For Semrush

For the next part of this review, I’ll look at practical applications of semrush. In other words, how do I use it, and how can you use it to benefit your site?

There are 4 main ways that you'll benefit from this tool:

    1. Use it to find keywords you've not optimized for, that you can easily rank for.
    2. Use it to highlight which posts you should link build to first.
    3. Use it to reverse engineer your competitors and get new keyword ideas
    4. Use it to find "weak" keywords that forums are ranking for.

Let’s go through these one by one.

Using Semrush To Find ‘Quick Win’ Keywords To Target

This is one of the easiest ways to benefit from Semrush.

I’ll tell you this now. If you’ve never checked, there are no doubt dozens of keywords that your site ranks for, that you had no clue about.

On top of that, many of these keywords will be ones you’ve not optimized your site for. 

I’ll give you an example:

Let’s say you are targeting a certain keyword with your post, like “best shower head”. Once that post ranks quite highly, you’ll naturally rank for other keywords as well, such as “best plastic shower head” or “good shower nozzle” and so on. It just happens. 

Put any post into semrush and you’ll see it ranks for dozens of keywords.

What also happens is that some of those keywords you will rank quite highly. Position 12 or something like that.

For many of these keywords, you won’t even have that keyword anywhere on your page. This is because Google knows your article covers that topic. It knows that an article about shower heads is also going to be relevant to searches about shower nozzles, for example.

What I find is that 90% of the time, if you go back to that article and add the keyword in somewhere, within a week or so (depending on your site’s age and authority), you will jump up in ranking for that keyword.

You can rinse and repeat this so many times and increase rankings and traffic without adding more posts. The more rankings your site has, the more you can do this technique.

Here are three examples of keywords where I did the exact method talked about. I started tracking them in Serpfox the day I did the optimizations, so you can see the results almost instantly.

Example 1: 

Example 2:

Example 3:

Now, it doesn’t always work. Some keywords won’t budge even if you add them to your post. It doesn’t take much work to do this though, and the fact that some keywords will have a major increase should make it very much worth your while to do.

You can rinse and repeat this technique every few weeks as well, because as you rank higher for these keywords, there will be other ones appearing.

This alone could pay for semrush in no time, assuming you have your traffic monetized.

Using Semrush To Choose Link Building Targets

Whether you’re doing white-hat link building, or something more grey-hat, you don’t have infinite time or money. You’ll want to make sure you’re able to get the most results out of your efforts, or money.

Semrush can help with this (although Ahrefs might be better if this is your only focus, as ahrefs has superior backlink crawlers).

How I use it is as follows:

1.) I put my site my site into Semrush and see what it shows me for keywords and rankings. 

2.) I then look at “pages” and see which pages have a lot of rankings and keywords “nearly” on page 1. For example, you might think you want to do your link building to your main money page, but Semrush might show you that another post is actually much closer. It could already have 1 or 2 keywords on page 1 or at the top of page 2.

For me, this would go straight on the list of potential link building targets. I’d do further analysis into the competition before deciding 100% to target this post, but Semrush is responsible for putting it on my radar.

It’s all too easy for us to get blinkered vision and just focus on 1 or 2 posts, without realizing we could get some other posts earning money in the meantime, just by giving them a bit of link juice.

Using Semrush To Mimic Competitor Rankings

I use the word competitor lightly, because a lot of other sites in your niche might not really represent pure competition. What Semrush defines as your competition is a site you share other keywords with.

For example, perhaps your site ranks for 200 keywords, and another site ranks for 2,000, but 150 of them are the same ones you rank for. They’d show up as a competitor, right here:

Now, what we have above is a list of 302 organic competitors. Here’s how we use it:

1.) Starting with the competitors that share the most common keywords (in this case, nichehacks), we could click on them, and then get a list of all the keywords they rank for.

2.) By manually going through the list, we’re going to get dozens of ideas for keywords we hadn’t thought of targeting. Some of them will be “quick win” keywords that we can add into our existing articles to increase the keywords they rank for. Others will give us entire new article ideas.

Just because a competitor ranks for a keyword, doesn’t mean we are automatically going to rank for it too just because we wrote an article. However, it’s great for finding new content gaps and opportunities. 

3.) For further wins, look for keywords where your competitor ranks for them, but the article they are ranking isn’t all that relevant. For example, maybe a competitor ranks highly for something like “roll on vs aerosol deodorant”, but the article ranking is not that related to the keyword. It could be something like, “best roll on deodorant”.

The fact they’re ranking highly for it without really targeting it or writing something useful, shows an opportunity. You can write an article that targets the keyword more accurately, and you’ll have a pretty good chance of ranking well for it.

Not every competitor will have keywords like this, but if you spend enough time, you’ll be able to find some.

4.) Additionally, you can look at the competitors for one of your specific posts and see if you’ve missed any keywords. Let’s say you have a post on page 1 of Google and it ranks for 20 different keywords. Maybe the other sites on rank 1 with you are ranking for 30 or 40 keywords with the same posts. 

If you go through each one of those posts and see what they’re ranking for that you’ve missed, and then go back and add them to your post, you’ll not fail to increase your traffic to that post, and might even rank a bit higher as a result.

This is similar to the “quick win” opportunities mentioned above.

Use It To Find “Weak” Forum Keywords

It’s well documented that when you find a keyword where 1 or more forums are ranking, that keyword should be easy to rank for. The problem is, how do you find keywords where forums are ranking?

Simple.

You find some forums, you enter their URL’s into Semrush, and you use a filter to find all the keywords they rank on page 1 for.

To make it even better, filter it to only show the ones they rank in the top 3 for.

I’ve used this to find dozens of keywords in almost every niche I’ve entered, and at least 30% of them I ranked for very quickly.

Josh is the man behind this strategy, which I’ve linked to right at the start of this article. If you want to know more about it, you can follow this link as well.

Semrush Pricing – Is It Worth It?

I’ve just shown you an almost infinite number of ways to use Semrush. Ok, only 4 ways, but they’ll keep you busy for what seems like an eternity.

The question is, does it pay for itself, and how much is that exactly?

The snapshot above shows the three pricing tiers available. To learn more about exactly what comes with the plans, go here. You can also get a 7 day free trial through that link.

Anyway, let’s talk numbers.

$99 per month is no small fee, and the average beginner niche site builder may not be able to afford it. 

That’s fine, because if you are a complete beginner and don’t have the budget yet, you also don’t need to get semrush yet. It’s not something you can really benefit from until you either have a number of sites and regularly use this tool…or until one of your sites starts getting itself some rankings.

In my case, I signed up for a free trial once my site started making $100 per month, and I had scaled that to $500 per month within 3-4 short months. Semrush played a large part in that.

Essentially, you need to be earning some money and getting some rankings and traffic in order to really benefit from it (though you will still benefit in an earlier stage if you can afford it now). 

Once you use it though, it pays for itself quite quickly.

If you’re able to increase the number of keywords you rank for, increase the positions they rank at, and get new content ideas all with one tool, you’ll definitely increase your revenue beyond $99 per month.

Only you can say if you have the budget for it. I will say that you don’t absolutely 100% need Semrush in order to succeed, but if you can afford it, you will absolutely benefit.

If I Could Only Use One Tool

I would probably struggle with only using one tool! However, if I did only have access to one…Semrush would definitely be a contender for that tool.

It depends, does WordPress count?

All joking aside, it’s for good reason that I use this tool almost every day, and if you can afford it, you’ll love it.

Remember, you can click the banner below to get a 7-day free trial.

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